February 28, 2018 / 4:11 AM / 3 months ago

Hartman the hero in Predators debut

Ryan Hartman’s first goal in a Nashville uniform — with exactly one minute left in the third period — gave the visiting Predators a comeback 6-5 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night.

Hartman emerged as the hero in his first game since being acquired in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Predators, who trailed 5-3 with less than 10 minutes remaining, recorded their fifth straight win and denied the Jets a chance to move into a tie with them for first place in the Central Division. The Jets lost for the first time in three games.

Nashville netminder Pekka Rinne stopped 34 of 39 shots for the victory, while Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck blocked 26 of 32 shots in a losing cause.

Craig Smith scored twice and Kyle Turris, Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Johansen added a goal apiece for the Predators.

Mark Scheifele led Winnipeg with two goals, while Paul Stastny recorded a goal and an assist in his first game since being acquired from the St. Louis Blues in a deadline-day trade. Matt Hendricks and Nikolaj Ehlers also tallied for the Jets.

Following a scoreless first period, the teams erupted for seven goals in the second with the Jets taking a 4-3 lead into the third.

Hendricks opened the scoring 2:45 into the middle frame and Smith replied at 8:55 before Scheifele notched back-to-back goals at 12:41 and 14:23. Standing beside the Predators net, Stastny set up Scheifele’s second goal by feeding him a quick pass in the slot for a power-play marker.

Turris reduced Nashville’s deficit to 3-2 less than a minute later, and Ekholm created a 3-3 tie only 1:59 after that goal. However, Ehlers scored only 33 seconds later to give the Jets a 4-3 advantage. Patrik Laine earned an assist on the Ehlers goal, extending his points streak to 10 games.

Laine also set up Stastny for his first goal as a Jet, on a quick shot from a sharp angle at the 10-minute mark of the third period. Keeping up the quick-goals theme, Smith brought the Predators within 5-4 just 55 seconds later. At 13:57 of the third period, Johansen created a 5-5 tie, beating Hellebuyck with a wrist shot.

—Field Level Media

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